Solar-Powered Irrigation Cuts Drought Risk and Emissions

In the scorching sun, Alphonce Abok keeps an eye on his fields of watermelons growing near the banks of the Sound River, one of the major channels feeding into Lake Victoria.

"I hope with enough water this time around I will harvest my watermelons," said the farmer from western Kenya. Not so long ago, he said, his efforts failed as he couldn't get enough water to the crop.

In July, however, he purchased a solar-powered irrigation pump that he now hopes will give him a much more reliable harvest.

The equipment, from Futurepump, which imports irrigation kits from India, draws energy from an 80-watt solar panel mounted on a metal frame. The solar power then drives a motor that pulls water from a river, well or storage tank.

Clyde Robinson


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